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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetans observe Losar by raising the Tibetan National Flag

February 13, 2010

Northen Voices Online India
February 12, 2010

Dharamsala -- On the auspicious first day of
Losar 2137, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) will
launch a new campaign ‘Raise Our Flag’ by
distributing 500 Tibetan national flags. Tibetans
and supporters will be urged to raise the flags
to mark the beginning of the year of the Iron
Tiger; a time for change, hope, renewal and an
action to express a renewed commitment and
solidarity towards the Tibetan movement

"The National Flag is a symbol of freedom and
resistance. Hundreds of national flags were
defiantly flown throughout Tibet in the 2008
uprising to amplify the people’s call for
freedom. The flag unifies all the Tibetans in our
desire to help bring change on the ground inside
Tibet." Tenzin Choeying, National Director of
Students for a Free Tibet, India, said.

‘Raise Our Flag’ campaign is supported by a
number of local Tibetan businessmen including
Chodak from Middleway Tours and Travels. Chodak
explained, "As a Tibetan, I find it very
inspiring hoisting our national flag on the very
first day of Losar. It’s my responsibility to
contribute to our cause through such campaigns."

The modern Tibetan national flag was adopted in
1916. Its first appearance before the world was
in National Geographic Magazine’s "Flags of the World" issue of 1934.

According to an eminent vexillologist, Professor
Lux-Worm, the national flag of Tibet was based on
an older 7th century snow lion standard of the
Tibetan Emperor, Songtsen Gampo. It should be
borne in mind that over 90% of the flags of the
nations in the UNO were created after WWII,
including the present national flag of China.

Over the years the Tibetan flag has become a
symbol of resistance. In each and every historic
Tibetan uprising, the flag has been raised
numerous times often in simple hand-drawn form to
express the continued resistance to China’s
occupation of Tibet. The recent 2008 uprising in
Tibet is a clear testimony to this fact.
Displaying the old mountain and snow-lion flag in
Tibet is a “splittist” offence for which anyone
could be shot on sight. In March 2009, a young
monk Tabe, from Kirti Monastery, was shot by
Chinese armed forces after walking down the main
street in Aba town carrying a hand-drawn Tibetan
flag and a picture of the Dalai Lama.

Today the Tibetan national flag has become the
most striking symbol of freedom and resistance
and on the 1st day of Iron Tiger year 2137, SFT appealed all to raise the flag.
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